LaPorte County Probation

LP Courthouse
MC Courthouse

Probation is a form of sentencing not requiring incarceration. It is an alternative to sentencing the defendant to prison. Probation is a privilege rather than a right.

Purpose of Probation: To control, supervise, and reintegrate the Defendant at the local or community level through the utilization of resources, treatment, and education.

The Goals of Probation are:

  • To ensure the protection of society
  • To rehabilitate the Probationer
  • To Process Court Conditions

Departments


Our Code of Ethics

The following code of Ethics was derived from the Texas Adult Probation Commission. The people of LaPorte County expect of Probation Officers unfailing honesty, respect for the dignity and individuality of human beings, and a commitment to profession and compassionate service. To this end the LaPorte County Probation Department subscribes to the following principles.

All Probation Officers shall Endeavor To:

  • Respect the authority and follow the directives of the court, recognizing at all times that they are an extension of the court.
  • Respect and protect the civil and legal rights of all Probationers.
  • Serve each case with appropriate concern for the Probationer's welfare and with no purpose of person gain.
  • Encourage relationships with colleagues of such character to promote mutual respect within the profession and improvement of its quality of serviced.

Introduction: Purpose and Philosophy of Probation

Probation is correctional alternative that allows the convicted offender to serve his/her sentence in the community under the Court's supervision. Its primary goals are rehabilitation of the offender and protection of society. Probation is granted for a wide variety of offenses, but generally is used for those offenders convicted of minor violations. Often Probation is stipulated as a condition of a suspended sentence.

“Probation is not leniency, but rather a form of treatment consciously chosen because there is reason to believe that the objective of justice will be fulfilled and the interests of society protected, while at the same time the needs of the offender will be met.” Probation is a privilege and not a right (Burns vs. United States, 287 U.S. 216, 220 (1932). The defendant has a right to an executed sentence, but he/she does not need to consent to Probation. Whether or not Probation should be granted is vested in the authority of the sentencing Judge whose judgment may only be challenged for an abuse of discretion. The Court also has the power to revoke modify the Order of Probation and its terms during the Probation period.

When the Court grants Probation, the defendant is required to meet the specified conditions of his/her Probationary period. The Court may impose any condition of Probation reasonable to the person’s rehabilitation. When these conditions are imposed, they must be definite and clearly stated and communicated to the defendant. The Court may not impose conditions that require behavior that would be illegal, immoral, or impossible. The primary role of the Probation Officer is to assist the offender in the community and to enforce the restrictions imposed by the Court on their behavior. Probation Officers shall serve at the pleasure of the Court and are directly responsible tot and subject to the orders of the Courty9pursuant to Indiana Code 11-1113-1-3).

Unlike incarceration, Probation is based on the objective of maintaining control of the offender through supervision, but allowing him/her to live in the community. Thus, he/she can remain a useful and productive member of society. Not only is Probation less expensive than incarceration, but also it allows the Probationer to remain in ad adjust to society during their term of Probation.

The Court may suspend any part of a misdemeanor sentence and it may place the person on Probation for a fixed period of not more than one year, Indiana Code 35-50-3-1 (b). A defendant with a suspended felony sentence shall be on Probation for a fixed period to end no later than the date the suspended sentence expires, Indiana code 35-50-2-2. Juvenile offenders may be placed on either formal or informal supervision, upon approval of the Court.

Make statements critical of colleagues or their agencies only, as these are verifiable and constructive in purpose.

Respect the importance of all elements of the Criminal Justice System and cultivate a professional cooperation with each segment.

Duties of Probation Officers (Indiana Code 11-13-1-3 and 5), A Probation Officer Shall

  • conduct prehearing and presentence investigations and prepare reports as required by law.
  • assist the courts in making pretrial release decisions.
  • assist the courts, prosecuting attorneys, and other law enforcement officials in making decisions regarding the diversion of charged individuals to appropriate noncriminal alternatives.
  • furnish each person placed on probation under his supervision a written statement of the conditions of his probation and instruct him regarding those conditions.
  • supervise and assist persons on probation consistent with conditions of probation imposed by the court.
  • bring to the court's attention any modification in the conditions of probation considered advisable.
  • notify the court when a violation of a condition of probation occurs.
  • cooperate with public and private agencies and other persons concerned with the treatment or welfare of persons on probation, and assist them in obtaining services from those agencies and persons.
  • keep accurate records of cases investigated by him and of all cases assigned to him by the court and make these records available to the court upon request.
  • collect and disburse money from persons under his supervision according to the order of the court, and keep accurate and complete accounts of those collections and disbursements.
  • assist the court in transferring supervision of a person on probation to a court in another jurisdiction.
  • perform other duties required by law or as directed by the court.

Non-Statutory Duties (including but not limited to the following)

  • Keep informed of new developments and techniques in the correctional field and , where advisable and appropriate, apply these to the Officers work.
  • Prepare formal preparations concerning Probation to the community, cooperate with community agencies and participate in community activities for the enhancement of community based corrections.
  • Cooperate with State/Federal Probation and other units making investigations, supervising persons transferred to us, and perform additional related services as may be reasonable requested by other department.
  • Develop community plans for persons to be released from correctional facilities back to Probation.
  • Prepare summary and recommendation of Pre-Sentence Investigative Reports with specific aftercare utilizing community resources needed to meet special supervision responsibilities (i.e., drug/alcohol aftercare, mental health, employment, community service, home confinement, weekends in Jail, etc.).
  • Prepare Risk Assessments for levels of supervision.
  • Operate as a Speakers Bureau to inform the citizenry of the community about Adult Probation. This includes giving speeches to civic groups as well as lectures to university and high school classes upon request.